New year means new development along Union Avenue - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New year means new development along Union Avenue

(WMC-TV) – The sign out front says "closed." But soon the old Pizza Hut building on Union Avenue in Midtown will re-open as a Panera Bread.

It's one of at least a half-dozen properties along the busy stretch of Union that could see significant changes in the new year.

For instance, Five Guys Burgers has already taken shape just west of Cooper. The old United States Post Office is up for sale and could be the site of an even larger re-development.

Meanwhile, the 19th Century Club mansion is currently on the auction block. Many hope the stately home itself will be saved. Kroger announced last year that it would demolish the Belvedere Apartments in order to expand its cramped Union Avenue store.

"There are other grocery stores that have expressed interest in that area," said Memphis councilman Kemp Conrad.

Conrad also works in real estate and believes one of the biggest opportunities for the city may be the property on which the Union Station police precinct now sits. Most officers have already moved to a new precinct on Crump. The traffic division will eventually vacate as well.

"I think we need to look at selling it and I also think we need to be smart and possibly look at doing a ground lease where we would get payments for 20 or 30 years," said Conrad.

According to a recent article in the Memphis Daily News, Panera Bread looked at four things when choosing its new location. They included traffic counts, residential population, demographics, and daytime population.

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